Was This Weird or Is It Just Me?

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Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Sep 1, 2004
I live in a townhouse condo complex. Yesterday, we had to do cleanup from a snowstorm. There is a routine where workers plow the streets while others driving bobcats plow out the parking spaces in front of the buildings. When you see they are on your street, you go out and clean off your car and move it so they can clear the area.

There is a section of road where most of the cars from my area park when this is going on so you see your neighbors in the process. After the spaces were all cleared, I walked to where my car was so I could move it back in front of my condo. A neighbor (a guy) I have never spoken to was brushing off his car as I approached on the way to my car. He saw me, looked up with a big smile and said, "Hi, Old Timer!". That caught me by surprise. I replied with something like, "Gee, thanks".

What do you say? Weird, or am I being too sensitive? I mean, I know I'm old. Older than that guy. If a friend of mine greeted me that way, I'd just come back with a similar wisecrack. But I'd never met the guy.
It is indeed slightly rude, however if he greeted you with a smile and looked generally friendly, I'd let it go. He probably thought he was being chummy.
I'm a Brit, so maybe I have a different take on this. It seems extremely rude to me.

That said, I do agree that the person probably thought they were being mildly amusing/friendly. (I base this PURELY on the basis of my visits to America and the informality and general friendliness I have experienced there.)
Something like "hello yourself ya danged yuppie/millennial/GenZ'er" (select appropriate generational tag) would probably have slipped my lips before I had a chance to think about it.
Definitely rude in my book. Calling your/mine friend that would be normal, some young guy, you don't even know, calling you that is rude. I am sure, though, he thought he was friendly and funny. Which it would be if you were friends, maybe.
Interesting comments, folks. Thanks for responding. His comment was unusual enough for me to notice but I'm not deeply offended or anything. It was just an unexpected greeting. My reason for asking you all in the first place was for a reality check as to whether or not the comment was a little off or was I being too sensitive. As time goes by, I'm increasingly aware my best days are behind me. I don't need outside confirmation.
Just re-read this... the guy probably went back in the house and said to his wife

- "I can't believe I just did that. Yuh know that guy that parks near us with the *** vehicle? Well, he came out to clean his car and when I saw him, and.. well, ...ummm it just popped out... I said "Hi Old-Timer!" Don't know why! I just did! I was so embarrassed I just quick finished the car and came back in."

her: - "Well, did you apologize or something?"

him: - "No, I couldn't. Was too embarrassed"

her: - "You're a pea-brain!"
This 'conversation' was our first contact/communication of any kind. He's fairly new to the area, lives alone and keeps to himself.

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